Fernanda Santos, Member of the Teamsters Canada Executive Board

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us take a moment to remember the many strong and determined women who fought bravely and relentlessly for us to have equal rights and status in society.

Women like Thérèse Casgrain, who fought for women’s suffrage and who became the first female leader of a political party in Canada. And women like Agnes Macphail, who served as Canada’s first female MP and who later went on to serve in provincial politics, introducing Ontario’s first equal-pay legislation.

Without those pioneers, the road would not have been paved and we would not be where we are today.

There are many, many other women we have to thank for getting us to where we are today, not all of whom are famous or well known. But let’s not forget that we still have a long way to go.

There are still many women in many countries that are miles and miles away from achieving status and having any rights in their society.

Lest we forget that globally, women still earn only 50 cents for every dollar a man makes. Every year, 12 million girls marry before the age of 18. Women are also disproportionately affected by domestic violence.

It is clear to me that every generation, and every country, will need their pioneers to continue forging ahead toward equality.

People everywhere need to remain proud, strong and determined to continue paving the road until women in every country, without exception, can enjoy equal rights and status!

by Fernanda Santos,
Member of the Teamsters Canada Executive Board

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